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Is there some mystery to the tragedy of Karbala?

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8 hours ago, lyricalsoul29 said:

 

I have also wondered why only a specific Imam had these immense sacrifices on him whereas the other Imams ' demise are by poisoning. Then again, you don't really have the answers to these kind of questions.

Imam Hussain's (عليه السلام) sacrifice ensured the other Imams didn't have to go through similar atrocities. But keep in mind, they also suffered. One has to understand that Imam Hussain's martyrdom was the culmination of the plan to eradicate the AhlulBayt aka Ahle-Kisa aka Panjetan.

 

 

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thanks Ethics and ShiaMan14 for the clarifications.

but why is it that despite Imam Husayn ((عليه السلام)) martyrdom, there is still a huge rift between us and the Sunnis, the non-Muslims, who may deem this incident as an unfortunate event? it makes it looks like his sacrifice was a short fix 

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On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Not really. The Byzantines had been completely yeeted out of both North Africa and the Levant since the days of Abdul Malik ibn Marwan himself (the famous 'Dome of the Rock' in Jerusalem dates from this period), and they were no longer in a position to threaten Arab communications across the Mediterranean. Major victories had been won against the Holy Roman Empire in Iberia towards the close of this period (the Cordoba Caliphs were an offshoot of the Umayyads). What failed for the Umayyads was, firstly, their social engineering of knitting tribal alliances to share the pie of power, as many Arab tribes, especially those who had settled in Khurasan and Turkestan began to demand a greater share in the pie, and the Ajams were exasperated with their racial segregationism. Along with this, the persecution of the Alawi-Fatimis was indeed a prominent factor. Had this factor not been prominent, agents like Abu Muslim Khurasani wouldn't have sought the support of Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام), nor would al-Saffah and al-Mansour have sought the help of some Hassani sadah (only to kill them later). Hugh Kennedy's work is something I'd really reccomend here. He masterfully brings out the Ahlul Bayt (as)'s propangandistic use in Abbasid revolutionary rhetoric.

This was not my argument. I said that, on the Roman front, and I should have specified that with regards to Anatolia, the Ummayads were halted for over the better part of three decades. This was a spark of failure, and once you have internal strife with a ruler employing weak fiscal policies, you’ve cooked yourself up a nice recipe for decline. You simply cannot ignore the red light at Anatolia.

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

What failed for the Umayyads was, firstly, their social engineering of knitting tribal alliances to share the pie of power, as many Arab tribes, especially those who had settled in Khurasan and Turkestan began to demand a greater share in the pie, and the Ajams were exasperated with their racial segregationism.

There you go. This was what I was emphasizing when I said “mainly internal strife”. This strife was then used by the Shi'i, under the pretext of equality. 

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Along with this, the persecution of the Alawi-Fatimis was indeed a prominent factor. Had this factor not been prominent, agents like Abu Muslim Khurasani wouldn't have sought the support of Imam al-Sadiq (عليه السلام), nor would al-Saffah and al-Mansour have sought the help of some Hassani sadah (only to kill them later). Hugh Kennedy's work is something I'd really reccomend here. He masterfully brings out the Ahlul Bayt (as)'s propangandistic use in Abbasid revolutionary rhetoric.

Okay, let’s roll with this here. Did the tragedy of Karbala, in light of this information, change the direction of the Muslim community? How did the shift of power from Banu Ummayah to Banu Abbas actually bring about any benefit in the long run - as you claimed it did? The only change I see, at least with regards to the Shi'a, is that the rest of the Imams, after Hussain b. Ali, became virtually apolitical, to the point that we have no information on some of them apart from how they would send agents to Shi’a communities for khums collections.

What long-term ripples did the tragedy of Karbala send down in the Ummah?

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

But Shi'i consolidation was not the objective of these revolts, so it is unfair to judge them on that account.

But these revolts were military wings of different Shi’i thoughts and doctrines that were going around at the time. It’s difficult to overlook the fact that these revolts did cause further divisions.

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Also there is no causal link between these revolts and the later Shi'i firaq that emerge. That's something which is visible only after Zayd b. Ali b. Hussayn's revolt, which happened long after all of these revoltes had died down. 

There absolutely is. Mukhtar and his organization's followers were some of the first to bring the doctrine of the “Mahdi” to prominence, since he seemed to have believed that al-Hanafiyyah was the Mahdi. Now whether his belief in the Mahdi was eschatological or not is a separate discussion, but it’s good to note that the Shi’i sects that later emerge were deeply enshrined in this doctrine of the Mahdi who would remove oppression and establish justice in the public order at the end of times. In fact, almost all of these sects deviated from the Imami line because they would look up to someone else for a political rising (al-qaim), since the Ali-Fatimid line of Imams kept on disappointing them by not participating in the political sphere. After Zayd’s revolt, we plunge into more major sectarianism, but as I said, these sects did not emerge just because they felt like it. Their existence was linked to the initial Mahdi doctrine that was really discharged into Shi'ism by the Kaysaniyya (and others), the former of which had ties with Mukhtar.

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

Not really. This is a piece of misinformation that has long been debunked. I am not aware of any such work in English, but if you can read Farsi, I can refer you to a work by the Shaheed al-Thalith Qadi Sayyid Nurullah al-Hussayni al-Shustari al-Hindi (rahimahullah) where he discusses this matter in the light of authentic Hadith. He conclusively proves that Mukhtar had the tacit backing of Imam Sajjad (عليه السلام) and Ibn Hanafiyyah (عليه السلام), who had become his nephew's secretary. They couldn't opnely come out in his support for obvious reasons, but there is enough documentary evidence from Imam Sajjad (عليه السلام) and Imam Baqir (عليه السلام) to show that they not only personally blessed Mukhtar's revolution, but exhorted all the Shi'a who came to meet them to join and support him. They continued to value his sacrifice even after his martyrdom, as is proven by the conversation between al-Hakam b. Mukhtar and Imam Baqir (عليه السلام). The reports critical of Mukhtar are either weak, in taqiyyah or originate from milieux hostile to him (proto-Sunnis of Kufa, who hated him because he took on the Zubayrids as well). Ayatullah Khu'i (rh) in his Mu'jam al-Rijal arrives at the same conclusion after a critical evaluation of the reports concerning Mukhtar.

Yes, I am aware of the amount of mental gymnastics that have been carried out in trying to prove that there was a secret scheme between al-Hanafiyyah and Ali b. Hussain allegedly backing and being involved with Mukhtar, but despite that, it has not been made clear that Mukhtar had any backing from Ali b. Hussain. So I wouldn’t call this a debunk, but rather an attempt to debunk. The smiles on Ali b. Hussain and his family’s faces are not deemed as authentic pieces of information. Nor is the conversation between Hakam b. Mukhtar and Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir. Al-Khu’i’s grading is not entirely accurate, to be fair. I remember reading into this and found the hadith, “Mukhtar used to lie about Ali b. Hussain” was graded dha’eef by al-Khu’i (which itself was contradictory according to al-Khu’i’s standards), but many others have graded this hadith as hasan. You go back to someone as old as Nawbakhti or modern scholars such as Madelung or Kohlberg, and all of them have proposed that the Kaysaniyya had ties with Mukhtar and his followers.

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

The Kaysaniyyah, who took ibn Hanfiyyah for their Imam, and of whome Mukhtar is accused of being a member, emerged only long after Mukhtar's death so this anachrony makes this theory false too.

This is just tarikh 101 here. The Kaysaniyya did not take up after Mukhtar’s death and declare al-Hanafiyyah as the Imam and Mahdi. They took up after Mukhtar during the latter’s life, who himself was the militant organizer of the infant Kaysanite doctrine. What did occur after Mukhtar’s death were the divisions and dissolutions within the Kaysaniyya. Maybe that’s where the confusion is at.

On 8/10/2022 at 3:11 PM, AbdusSibtayn said:

It's not like they didn't try. There was a full-scale pogrom of the Hassani sadah in Medina. Imam al-Sadiq (as)'s own house was attacked and burned. This created a huge wave of revulsion among the Shi'a from Hijaz to Kufa (this was one of the reasons to keep Imam al-Kadhim (عليه السلام) imprisoned in Baghdad so that he could be kept under supervision and incommunicado from the Shi'a). It is to cool down the anger withing the Shi'a that Ma'amun (la) declared Imam Rida (عليه السلام) as heir-apparent. They wouldn't have missed any chace to get rid of the Ahlul Bayt (ams) in one stroke, but they saw the cost-to-benefit ratio and decided against it.Also, if the imams after Imam al-Hussayn were political non-entities, the Abbasids wouldn't invest so much energy, time,grey matter and money in getting rid of them.

What do you mean by political non-entities? Obviously, the Abbasids knew that the Imams had some support from their followers, hence they were a living threat to them - because of the mere fact that they could challenge the legitimacy of the khilaafat. But other than that, history shows that the Imams simply stayed out of this business.

Killing the Imams was no special investment or feat for the Abbasids. We do make it sound like this was a holy one on one battle between the Imams and the Caliphs, and that the Caliphs were especially passionate about getting rid of the Shi’i Imams, but this is simply not true. The Imams, for them, were just little specks in their grand kingdom who they felt could amass a steady following. So they simply got rid of them before an Imam even considered it.

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On 8/10/2022 at 3:48 PM, ShiaMan14 said:

That's because you are trying to align Imam's actions with what you would have done instead of the other way around.

If you don't mind me saying, this is why only 72 remained with Imam and are considered the most loyal. They chose to trust Imam Hussain's judgement rather than question it. Imam could have gone in 360 different directions, he chose one. Now everyone is questioning about the other 359.

Yes, because what you seem to be thinking is that I'm questioning the Imam's judgement, when in reality, I am simply trying to understand it. This was never a question about right decision vs. wrong decision. You can read my original post. We all agree that the Imam made the correct decision. What I'm trying to understand is why he chose to go towards Iraq when there were other options at his disposal, because I genuinely feel this would add to my understanding of Karbala. Just like I questioned why he chose Muslim b. Aqil as his messenger and not someone else from Bani Hashim.  It's a matter of understanding the Imam's judgment, not raising fingers at it. His 72 companions seemed to have already been at the level of understanding, so your comparison is a little nonsensical there. 

Good day.

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2 minutes ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Yes, because what you seem to be thinking is that I'm questioning the Imam's judgement, when in reality, I am simply trying to understand it. This was never a question about right decision vs. wrong decision. You can read my original post. We all agree that the Imam made the correct decision. What I'm trying to understand is why he chose to go towards Iraq when there were other options at his disposal, because I genuinely feel this would add to my understanding of Karbala. Just like I questioned why he chose Muslim b. Aqil as his messenger and not someone else from Bani Hashim.  It's a matter of understanding the Imam's judgment, not raising fingers at it. His 72 companions seemed to have already been at the level of understanding, so your comparison is a little nonsensical there. 

Good day.

I mean this in all seriousness, have you read any of Imam Hussain's (عليه السلام) sermons from the time he left Medina until Karbala?

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The way I see it: 
Good was triumphant through defeat
Evil earned everlasting shame through victory 

Hussien didn't lose the war, he stood his ground even though the entire world turned its back on him 
Him and his companions of Ahlu-al-Bayt may have died that day, but they are still alive today when we mourn them, for every place is Karbala and every day is Ashura 

God honoured Hussein ((عليه السلام)), for he died in battle by swords and arrows, in a manner so audacious and appalling that no true Muslim could accept. It is irrefutable that Hussein's cause was righteous.
He is more alive today than many men; death brought him eternal life. 

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1 hour ago, ShiaMan14 said:

I mean this in all seriousness, have you read any of Imam Hussain's (عليه السلام) sermons from the time he left Medina until Karbala?

Smh.

Yes, comrade. Yes, I have. If only his sermons filled in all of the gaps and spaces in my mind. If only my mind was immaculate in acquiring ma'rifa of the Imam, I wouldn't have had to be here on ShiaChat regretting the fact that I ever asked anything.

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2 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Smh.

Yes, comrade. Yes, I have. If only his sermons filled in all of the gaps and spaces in my mind. If only my mind was immaculate in acquiring ma'rifa of the Imam, I wouldn't have had to be here on ShiaChat regretting the fact that I ever asked anything.

I think you misunderstood my reason for asking. I didn't mean to imply that the Imam's letters and sermons explain his mission and reasoning so anyone who has read them will know everything.

My reason for asking is this subsequent question - from all his letters, sermons and conversations, does it seem like Imam was on a political/military mission to capture the caliphate OR on a spiritual journey to save Islam? 

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19 hours ago, lyricalsoul29 said:

but why is it that despite Imam Husayn ((عليه السلام)) martyrdom, there is still a huge rift between us and the Sunnis, the non-Muslims, who may deem this incident as an unfortunate event? it makes it looks like his sacrifice was a short fix 

Well, to be fair, there are and always have been bigger factors at play when it comes to the Sunni-Shi'a dispute.

But I must agree with you on that the tragedy of Karbala only seems to benefit those who know about it. The Islam that was saved with the sacrifices at Karbala was a different Islam, not the Islam of the vast majority of the Ummah today. Those who say Islam would have died and monotheism would have been forgotten if Hussain b. Ali (a) did not sacrifice himself make a very emotionally loaded argument. And it cannot be farther from the truth. Islam survived at the hands of 'Umar b. al-Khattab and other pagan-to-Muslims as well. Islam survived at the hands of the Ummayads, the Abbasids, the Mughals, the Ottomans, the Seljuks, etc. And you best believe, that is the Islam that the better part of two billion Muslims follow today.
 

I think my question is also related to the plight of the Shi'i. This tragedy helped the Shi'a become more attached to the Ahl al-Bayt (a), their values, and we mourn for them, but other than that, what else have we gained out of Karbala? Some may say "well, the Ahl al-Bayt should be enough. You shouldn't need to gain anything else out of it." I can agree, but then this really shrinks down the sacrifice of Hussain b. Ali (a) and makes it sound like it was almost exclusively done for us - not other Muslims and certainly not for humanity.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, ShiaMan14 said:

My reason for asking is this subsequent question - from all his letters, sermons and conversations, does it seem like Imam was on a political/military mission to capture the caliphate OR on a spiritual journey to save Islam?

They can be interpreted in both ways. That is why we have years of scholarship that have tried to decode his (a) journey and its purpose, but have arrived at various conclusions.

Me personally, I like to see it spiritually, because I have experienced that heightened spirituality is one of the outcomes of learning about Karbala. If I had to judge it politically, well, it wasn't a success. At all.

Edited by Ibn-e-Muhammad
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24 minutes ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

They can be interpreted in both ways. That is why we have years of scholarship that have tried to decode his (a) journey and its purpose, but have arrived at various conclusions.

Me personally, I like to see it spiritually, because I have experienced that heightened spirituality is one of the outcomes of learning about Karbala. If I had to judge it politically, well, it wasn't a success. At all.

My understanding is the letters Imam received were political but his responses, sermons and specifically conversations were pretty explicit that he was on the road to martyrdom. Among the people he spoke with were Ibn Abbas and Abdullah ibn Umar who advised him to stay put or go towards Yemen. Imam turned their advise down by saying it was the Will of Allah.

One could simply say that Imam followed the Will of Allah and went towards Kufa but let's explore other options.

Yemen or Eastwards southwards: Knowing fully well that Yazid's army would follow him to the ends of earth, going to Yemen would have put Mecca and Medina at risk as the Syrian armies would have gone through those cities. Imam was already on record that he didnt want bloodshed in Mecca/Medina so Yemen and Southward is ruled out. Similarly going due East would also have routed the Yazidi army via Mecca/Medina most likely.

Egypt, Ethiopia or westwards: A better option as it would ensure Mecca and Medina would be safe from Yazid's army and Imam may have even escaped martyrdom but he firmly believed that he was on a mission from Allah so why would he run away from it.

Northwards: since East, South and West were ruled out, the only option remaining was to go north and be at a place where no town or city would have to bear the burden of protecting Imam Hussain.

With the only option to save Islam, Quran and sunnah being through his sacrifice, then Imam chose to drive towards his goal rather than shy away from it. Additionally, more than 72 left Mecca with Imam but he kept re-iterating that no one with him would be getting rich but on the path to martyrdom. 72 is who he was left with.

There is absolutely no doubt that Imam knew he was on the road to martyrdom and chose the deserted spot of Karbala to avoid casualties on his behalf.

This is my assessment of why Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) chose to go north.

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On 8/10/2022 at 1:17 AM, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

The tragedy of Karbala failed to topple the caliph of the time, it never managed to change the status quo at any point in Islamic history, neither did it bring about any real revolutionary social or moral change for the vast majority of the Ummah - apart from the cultivation of 'aza that we still participate in today. This tragedy provided no 'advantage' to the Ahl al-Bayt (a) either, in fact it always seemed to have brought them a great deal of pain. 

Salam!!

Can we ever understand Karbala if we continue to see that event with these material eyes?

Can we understand Karbala without understanding that who we really are? 

It is unfortunate that our concept of life & death never changed even after 1400 years of revelation of Quran.

Lets see a verse of Quran first to get an idea of what life actually is:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ {24}

[Shakir 8:24] O you who believe! answer (the call of) Allah and His Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life; and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered.

And while you are comparing things with material eyes, the very next verse is also important for us:

وَاتَّقُوا فِتْنَةً لَا تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْكُمْ خَاصَّةً ۖ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ {25}

[Shakir 8:25] And fear an affliction which may not smite those of you in particular who are unjust; and know that Allah is severe in requiting (evil).

This limited worldly life is a fitnah in itself. We all have to go through these tests & trials. Should we answer the call of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) & His Apostle (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or should we answer the call of our nafs? This dictates & decides the success & the failure.

So Karbala is nothing but a success. It is not only an apparent success but also a hidden success. And whoever remember the lesson of Karbala and stayed focused on that very message, will be successful. 

Another verse is worth mentioning while discussing the Karbala:

وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَنْ ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا {28}

[Shakir 18:28] And withhold yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening desiring His goodwill, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world's life; and do not follow him whose heart We have made unmindful to Our remembrance, and he follows his low desires and his case is one in which due bounds are exceeded.

This verse is mentioning a divine command as it starts with وَاصْبِرْ. The 72 fortunate ones who martyred with Imam & the fortunate ones who remained patient with their imprisoned Imam, are the example of this verse. For they have answered the call of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) & His Apostle (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) by standing with their Imam (عليه السلام). For they have sacrificed all that which is mentioned as زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا in the same chapter:

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا {46}

[Shakir 18:46] Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the ever-abiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.

So my question to you is what we are here for? To answer the call of our nafs or to answer the call of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) & His Apostle? And what would dictate the success & the failure, answering to the call of nafs or answering to the call of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) & His Apostle? What is that life towards which Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) & His Apostle (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) calls us? 

I want to write few more lines, but time is not allowing me at the moment, I will get back to this thread after some time Insha Allah.

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On 8/10/2022 at 1:17 AM, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

(1) If the events that took place were solely about good vs. bad/truth vs. falsehood, why did it necessitate such sacrifices from Imam Hussain (a)?

(2) And why him, in particular, when the other nine Imams were also under similar leaderships and circumstances?

(3) Did it have something to do with Imam Hussain's personality, specifically, that made him more bold than the others?

If you are aware of Islamic history, start from the life of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم). The sword is used only after thirteen or more years have passed since the beginning of the call and after he was forced to use it in self-defense. 

And after him Imam Ali (peace be upon him) sheathed his sword for twenty-five years and began to call to the way of God with wisdom and good preaching and argued with them about which is best. Finally he had to use the sword against people with whom all peaceful means failed.

And after him Imam al-Hasan (peace be upon him) who drew the sword at the beginning of the command against the enemy. But when it proved to him that the peaceful struggle and the cold war in that circumstance and in those conditions were more successful and beneficial for the public interest and Islam than the sword, he left the war and went for peace and reconciliation.

There is no doubt that the interest of truth and religion is not exclusive to the war with the sword and the bloody revolution always, but sometimes and circumstances and in rare anomalous cases. The truth is not imposed by the sword, the faith is not based on force, and the religion of God is not based on الإكراه والإجبار. 

The circumstances of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) were anomalous circumstances in which all the means of peaceful advocacy were absent and Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) seemed to be making a strange and amazing move to attract public opinion, attract attention and stir the human conscience.

He achieved everything he wanted with his movement. And what remains is the exploitation of that product and the maintenance of that fruit with the statement and guidance and the care of those gains with the intellectual, scientific and practical support. And this in particular, was the period of the imams (عليهم السّلام) after him. And they did it to the best of their ability and to the best of their wisdom.

Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) directed the ideas with his revolution and drew attention to the justice of the Ahl al-Bayt cause. And that they are with the truth and the truth with them and that their opponents are with the falsehood. 

But what are the details of this case? What is the issue of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) and what is the specifics of this right that they and with them have? What is the difference between them and others?

These details, explanations, and statements for people were made by his sons (peace be upon them) after him by all possible means for them; Thus, the truth appeared and spread on the intellectual level in general and on the practical level to a large extent. 

But if you say: Why did they refrain from restoring their usurped right and did not make a revolution to restore the caliphate, command and rule? Then see the verse of Quran firt:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ ۚ إِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ ۚ وَإِنْ يَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ مِائَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفًا مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ {65}

[Shakir 8:65] O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.

The justified quorum for the fight was first ten, then it changed and became half of the enemy's strength. There is no doubt that the legal quorum in its first and second forms did not happen to any of the imams (peace be upon them) after the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) except Ali bin Abi Talib (peace be upon him); He is the only one among them who obtained the mentioned quorum and was able to stand up and get his due. 

 

As for the rest, they did not get helpers and supporters even to the extent of the first quorum, which is one tenth, let alone one half. Imam Hasan (peace be upon him), for example, remained after the betrayal of the army in his family, and a small number of companions and supporters did not exceed a hundred men, and in front of him was Muawiyah and with him were sixty or seventy thousand fighters.

What balance and what convergence between the two forces?! Therefore, the mandate of legitimate jihad was dropped from him, and he was left with nothing but sacrifice and martyrdom, or reconciliation and truce, so he chose peace. Because it was better at that time and more beneficial for the supreme interest of Islam than sacrifice.

The same is the case with Imam Hussain (peace be upon him), as you know, where he remained in over seventy men in exchange for seventy thousand enemies, but he (peace be upon him) preferred martyrdom and doing his own redemptive work due to his special circumstances, as previously detailed.

As for the rest of the imams (peace be upon them), their situation did not differ from that of Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (peace be upon them), rather it was perhaps more severe and embarrassing.

One man turns to Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) as he walks with him on the outskirts of the city, and says to him: O my master, how is it permissible for you to remain silent and stand up for your rights while you are the owner of this matter and the son of the Messenger of God (may God bless him and his family)?!

 

Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) remained silent about him until a shepherd passed by them driving a flock of sheep, and the Imam (peace be upon him) said to him: So-and-so, how many are you this flock? . The man said: I don't know. He (peace be upon him) said: By God, if I had the number of supporters of this herd, I would rise with them. So the man sympathized with the herd and counted it, and then it was seventeen heads.

Sahl bin al-Hasan al-Khorasani entered upon him one day and said: O son of the Messenger of God, it is not permissible for you to renege on your right, and for you in Khorasan a hundred thousand men from your Shiites are fighting in your hands.

Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) said to him: Are you one of them, O Sahl? . He said: Yes, I made your ransom, sir. He said to him: Sit. So he sat down and then the Imam (peace be upon him) commanded the maid and said: O slave girl, light up the oven. So I smoked him until the flame was rising from the mouth of the oven, so Al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) turned to Sahl Al-Khorasani and said: O Sahl, are you among those whom I mentioned that they obey my command? . He said: Yes, sir, I will give you my soul. He (peace be upon him) said: Get up and enter this oven. Sahl said: Take me, may God bless you, son of God's Messenger. He (peace be upon him) said: I have picked you up. 

While they were like this, when Abu Harun al-Makki (may God have mercy on him) entered the salutation, he (peace be upon him) replied and said to him: O Abu Harun, enter the oven. He said to him: Listen and obey. Then he threw off his sandal, rolled up his clothes, and entered the oven, so the Imam (peace be upon him) said: O maidservant, put a cover on him. She covered him.

Then the Imam (peace be upon him) turned to Sahl bin Al-Hassan and started talking to him, and Sahl said: Permit me, sir, to get up and see what happened to this man. He (peace be upon him) said: Yes. Then he got up with Sahl and revealed the cover of the oven, and saw Abu Harun was sitting on cold ashes, the imam said to him: Get out. He came out healthy and unharmed. 

He (peace be upon him) said: O Sahl, how often do you find something like this in Khurasan? . Sahl said: Not one, O son of the Messenger of God.

This process is an honor and undoubtedly demonstrated by Imam al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) and he expressed it that the Ahl al-Bayt are in need of an ideological army that obeys the orders issued to it by the Imam (peace be upon him), no matter what they are, that does not know hesitation and defeat and does not think of anything other than martyrdom or victory; Because of their complete trust in the Imam (peace be upon him) and their firm belief that his orders are from the orders of God and His Messenger, and he is more familiar with the good and the corrupt, the truth and the falsehood than all people. 

They need such an army that is available to them at least as much as the legal quorum and before making a movement or revolution; So that the setback of Siffin, the tragedy of Karbala, or the catastrophe of al- Hassan (peace be upon him) at the hands of his army on Saturday would not be repeated.

In Summary, standing up for sacrifice and martyrdom, such as the rise of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), it was not necessary in the time of rest of the Imams (peace be upon them). 

Because the media and the call to the truth and ways to complete the argument and convey the message did not completely disappear in the era of the Imams (peace be upon them) as they did not exist in the era of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) until he was forced to do (القيام بالإبلاغ والإعلام عن طريق التضحية والشهادة ) Qayam through sacrifice & martyrdom.

I hope this long essay has covered all of your questions.

wassalam!

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On 8/12/2022 at 12:02 AM, lyricalsoul29 said:

thanks Ethics and ShiaMan14 for the clarifications.

but why is it that despite Imam Husayn ((عليه السلام)) martyrdom, there is still a huge rift between us and the Sunnis, the non-Muslims, who may deem this incident as an unfortunate event? it makes it looks like his sacrifice was a short fix 

I am sorry I did not see your comment. In the path towards truth, there will always be a struggle when that path that people have chosen are the opposite direction that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has commanded. But Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in the holy quran has laid it out perfectly. That truth is clear from falsehood and Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has endowed us with limited free will and intelligence. That is why we must follow what Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) has left us, his holy family (عليه السلام).,  through the command of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). There will always be human beings either ignorantly or willfully going against the commands and path of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).

Imam Hussain (عليه السلام) sacrifice was so that the message of truth stays intact. So that the people of his time and in the future understand the significance of who the enemies of the prophet were and what they were trying to do with Islam. His sacrifice was by the decree of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) as Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) has once warned him. This event is special due to the significance of the time that it was taking place in and what the two sides were representing. As I mentioned in my previous post. In all of Islam's history this was the only time where a vile being killed an Authority of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and his Family, desecrated the holy mosque of Muhammad (عليه السلام) and burned the Kaaba down.

Of course people who do not know, or understand, or are willfully ignorant of this historic event or neglect who was truly the prophets family will obviously not comprehend it. Allah has brought forth warners and guides and completed the religion Al-Islam and we have 70% or more of mankind still rejecting Islam. Does that make Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and His plan any less significant? Did Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) do a "short fix" for a few of mankind? Of course not!

 Every single being chosen by Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), be it for ANY amount of years they existed played a huge and important role in Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) religion and without them we would not have this Al Islam.

What Non-Muslims Say About Husayn, The Third Successor of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Them Both)
 

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Peter J. Chelkowski

Peter J. Chelkowski Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University.

• "Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers. But on the plain of Kerbela they were caught in an ambush set by the … caliph, Yazid. Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him. Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbela. Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid's army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus. The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; "… then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities." [Ta'ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York, 1979, p. 2]

Simon Ockley

Simon Ockley (1678-1720) Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge.

• "Then Hosein mounted his horse, and took the Koran and laid it before him, and, coming up to the people, invited them to the performances of their duty: adding, 'O God, thou art my confidence in every trouble, and my hope in all adversity!'… He next reminded them of his excellency, the nobility of his birth, the greatness of his power, and his high descent, and said, 'Consider with yourselves whether or not such a man as I am is not better than you; I who am the son of your prophet's daughter, besides whom there is no other upon the face of the earth.

Ali was my father; Jaafar and Hamza, the chief of the martyrs, were both my uncles; and the apostle of God, upon whom be peace, said both of me and my brother, that we were the chief of the youth of paradise. If you will believe me, what I say is true, for by God, I never told a lie in earnest since I had my understanding; for God hates a lie. If you do not believe me, ask the companions of the apostle of God [here he named them], and they will tell you the same. Let me go back to what I have.' They asked, 'What hindered him from being ruled by the rest of his relations.' He answered, 'God forbid that I should set my hand to the resignation of my right after a slavish manner. I have recourse to God from every tyrant that doth not believe in the day of account.'" [The History of the Saracens, London, 1894, pp. 404-5]

Reynold Alleyne Nicholson

Reynold Alleyne Nicholson (1868-1945) Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge.

• "Husayn fell, pierced by an arrow, and his brave followers were cut down beside him to the last man. Muhammadan tradition, which with rare exceptions is uniformly hostile to the Umayyad dynasty, regards Husayn as a martyr and Yazid as his murderer." [A Literary History of the Arabs, Cambridge, 1930, p. 197 ]

Robert Durey Osborn

Robert Durey Osborn (1835-1889) Major of the Bengal Staff Corps.

• "Hosain had a child named Abdallah, only a year old. He had accompanied his father in this terrible march. Touched by its cries, he took the infant in his arms and wept. At that instant, a shaft from the hostile ranks pierced the child's ear, and it expired in his father's arms. Hosain placed the little corpse upon the ground. 'We come from God, and we return to Him!' he cried; 'O Lord, give me strength to bear these misfortunes!' …

Faint with thirst, and exhausted with wounds, he fought with desperate courage, slaying several of his antagonists. At last he was cut down from behind; at the same instance a lance was thrust through his back and bore him to the ground; as the dealer of this last blow withdrew his weapon, the ill-fated son of Ali rolled over a corpse. The head was severed from the trunk; the trunk was trampled under the hoofs of the victors' horses; and the next morning the women and a surviving infant son were carried away to Koufa. The bodies of Hosain and his followers were left unburied on the spot where they fell. For three days they remained exposed to the sun and the night dews, the vultures and the prowling animals of the waste; but then the inhabitants of a neighbouring village, struck with horror that the body of a grandson of the Prophet should be thus shamefully abandoned to the unclean beasts of the field, dared the anger of Obaidallah, and interred the body of the martyr and those of his heroic friends. [Islam Under the Arabs, Delaware, 1976, pp. 126-7]

Sir William Muir

Sir William Muir (1819-1905) Scottish scholar and statesman. Held the post of Foreign Secretary to the Indian government as well as Lieutenant Governor of the Northwestern Provinces.

• "The tragedy of Karbala decided not only the fate of the caliphate, but of the Mohammedan kingdoms long after the Caliphate had waned and disappeared." [Annals of the Early Caliphate, London, 1883, pp. 441-2]

Edward G. Brown

Edward G. Brown Sir Thomas Adams Professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge.

• "… a reminder of the blood-stained field of Kerbela, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger and death shrink to unconsidered trifles." [A Literary History of Persia, London, 1919, p. 227]

Ignaz Goldziher

Ignaz Goldziher (1850-1921) Famous Hungarian orientalist scholar.

• "Ever since the black day of Karbala, the history of this family … has been a continuous series of sufferings and persecutions. These are narrated in poetry and prose, in a richly cultivated literature of martyrologies - a Shi'i specialty - and form the theme of Shi'i gatherings in the first third of the month of Muharram, whose tenth day ('ashura) is kept as the anniversary of the tragedy at Karbala. Scenes of that tragedy are also presented on this day of commemoration in dramatic form (ta'ziya). 'Our feast days are our assemblies of mourning.' So concludes a poem by a prince of Shi'i disposition recalling the many mihan of the Prophet's family. Weeping and lamentation over the evils and persecutions suffered by the 'Alid family, and mourning for its martyrs: these are things from which loyal supporters of the cause cannot cease. 'More touching than the tears of the Shi'is' has even become an Arabic proverb." [Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, Princeton, 1981, p. 179]

Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) Considered the greatest British historian of his time.

• "In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Hosein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader." [The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1911, volume 5, pp. 391-2]

‘Ashura from the Viewpoint of Great Thinkers of the World

Quote

The English author and explorer, Freya Stark

In her famous book entitled, “The Faces of Baghdad” [Suwar Baghdadiyyah], Freya Stark has assigned a short chapter to the event of ‘Ashura. At the beginning of that chapter she says, “Shi‘ahs from all corners of the Muslim World remember al-Husayn and the site of his execution.

They publicly follow up on this event for the first ten days of the month of Muharram. Sorrow and grief is so predominant over them that on the last day, they parade mourning dramas and engage in public wailing and group weeping…”1

In a separate chapter of this book, and in a more detailed manner, she has talked about the holy city of Najaf. She recounts, “And at a distance not far from the mausoleum, his son al-Husayn arrived from the other side of the desert. He rode his horse and crossed the desert until he reached the land of Karbala.

There, he pitched a tent. His enemies surrounded him and closed all access to water from him. The events which came to pass have been retained in the memories of people. Detailed accounts about the sad events that occurred at Karbala have been passed from one generation to the next for the last 1257 years.

There is no possibility of deriving benefit from this holy city unless one has enough knowledge and information about this event, because the tragedies which befell al-Husayn penetrate and seep through every existing being to the extent that it shakes the very roots of their inner conscience and the foundations of their beliefs. This event is one of those rare occurrences which make men shed tears involuntarily.”

She then says, “When these tragic events came to pass, history stopped at Karbala and Najaf because people migrated to settle in these two cities with the intention of renouncing Yazid and washing their hands of the enemies of al-Husayn, the oppressed.”2

Proffessor Edward Granville Browne (1862-1926)

The famous orientalist Edward Browne, professor of Arabic and oriental studies at the University of Cambridge, recounts the appalling events which befell Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) at Karbala in this way, “… a reminder of the blood-stained field of Karbala, where the grandson of the Apostle of God fell at length, tortured by thirst and surrounded by the bodies of his murdered kinsmen, has been at anytime since then sufficient to evoke, even in the most lukewarm and heedless, the deepest emotions, the most frantic grief, and an exaltation of spirit before which pain, danger and death shrink to unconsidered trifles.”3

He also says, “Is it possible to find a person who hears about the event of Karbala and is at the same time not overwhelmed by sorrow and grief? Even non-Muslims cannot refute the purity of spirit and morality which accompanied this Islamic holy war.”4

Charles Dickens

This English Writer says this about the uprising of ‘Ashura, “If al-Husayn fought to quench his worldly desires, then I do not understand why his sisters, wives and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”5

Thomas Masaryk

While comparing Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) with Prophet Jesus (عليه السلام), Thomas Masaryk says, “The sufferings of Jesus Christ, when compared to the sufferings of al-Husayn, are like feathers made out of straw in the face of a huge mountain.”6

Justice A. Russell

This English poet describes the sorrowful event of ‘Ashura in this way:

“… they hit the blessed mouth of Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) with their wooden sticks. O holy body that has been crushed under hooves! You are that same body which used to charm every person who cast a glance at you.

Blood that has been shed from your blessed veins and has dried is a heavenly mixture which no horse hoof has ever had the opportunity to be painted with such a holy mixture (or color) up to now. O bare and barren earth of Karbala! There is neither grass nor herbs growing on you! Forever the song of sorrow will be chanted for you and the dress of sorrow put on you because it was on your land that the holy body of Fatimah’s son was torn to pieces. He dedicated his spirit to God.”7

Captain H. Niblet

While describing the night of ‘Ashura, he recounts, “That night, when the camp fires were burning all around him, the Imam called his followers and gathered them around him. In one long speech, he addressed them, ‘Those who will stay with me are going to be martyred tomorrow.’

Then, he acted in a very gracious manner; a manner which proves that he possessed complete knowledge about the weaknesses of mankind, which shows the strength which his sacrificial soul possessed and is a sign of how generous and kind that great man was.

He said to his followers, ‘Anyone who does not find in himself the courage and strength for steadfastness and martyrdom should secretly sneak out under the cover of darkness towards the east, and there is no reason whatsoever for anyone to feel ashamed.’

When the morning of ‘Ashura emerged, purple clouds gathered in the eastern sky, and seventy one people possessing strong faith and certainty surrounded Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام). All of them were ready for death and martyrdom.”8

Gibbon, the English historian (1737-1794)

He writes, “Notwithstanding that a long period of time has elapsed since the event of ‘Ashura occurred, and we too are not countrymen with the main actors in that event, nevertheless the unbearable hardships which Imam al-Husayn endured still arouse emotions in the most cold and stonehearted of readers; so much so that every reader finds in himself a kind of affection and love towards that great man.”9

Morris Duxbury

This American historian has written about mourning for Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام). He recounts, “If our writers of history could percive the reality of the day of ‘Ashura, they would not view mourning ceremonies which are held for Imam al-Husayn to be something queer or unusual.

Al-Husayn’s followers know that by means of mourning for their Imam, they are refusing to go under the yoke of oppression, lowliness and foreign domination because the message of their Imam and leader was that they should never surrender to oppression and tyranny.

Al-Husayn deliberately overlooked his own life, possessions and children for the sake of morality, principle, the people and the integrity of Islam. It is for this reason that he did not go under the yoke and adventurousness of Yazid.

Therefore, come and let us all imitate his way of life and free ourselves from the oppression of Yazid and those like Yazid. Let us prefer honorable death to living our lives in lowliness. In a nutshell, these are the basic teachings of Islam.

It is clear what status such a community will attain; a community which has been trained on such values from their cradles to the graves. Such a people possess every kind of honor and dignity, because all the people of that community are soldiers fighting for what is right, honorable and dignified.”10

Borris Salama

This Christian poet says, “On nights when I stayed awake, I could not but spend them with pain. The cause of my mental torment was my own thoughts and imagination about the people of the past.

I especially thought about the two great martyrs of history: Imam ‘Ali and his son Imam al-Husayn. At one moment, I cried a lot because of the affection and fondness which I felt for those two great men. Finally, I composed a poem for ‘Ali and al-Husayn.”11

Gabriel Dankiri

He describes the savagery and barbarity of Yazid’s army in this way, “Yazid’s soldiers on the day of ‘Ashura showed so much cruelty and ravenousness that no one can call to mind a day (in the history of mankind) equal or parallel to it in barbarity. They did not even have mercy on breast feeding newborns and minors.

They went so far as to take the bloody head of Imam al-Husayn to Damascus. Yazid imagined that with this apparent victory, he would live forever in peace and tranquility, but memories of that day have been revived every day from the day when that sad event occurred up to today, by way of shedding tears, mourning and grieving…”12

George Jordaq

This Lebanese Christian Writer recounts, “Yazid was a man who had inherited all the evil qualities of his ancestors, the Bani Umayyah. He even exceeded them. Yazid shared in all the vice, iniquity and mischief of Bani Umayyah in general…

There was no one more deprived of human values than Yazid… and in comparison, there was no one more perfect in human values and morality than al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, the martyr in this event. Yazid possessed all the ugly traits imaginable; he was a spineless power seeking opportunist who lacked strength and a man who would never hesitate to commit murder.

And on the opposite side, that is to say on the side of ‘Ali’s children, was to be found all the lofty and praiseworthy human attributes in the best sense of the word; such traits as a generous disposition, courage, liberality and martyrdom…”13

Doctor Joseph

This French historian narrates, “During the days of ‘Ashura, the Shi‘ahs mention and listen to the sufferings of al-Husayn. They make every effort to recount the virtues of the Prophet’s family and Household in the best possible manner…”14

Claudine Rulu

He is a news commentator for the Le Monde Newspaper who has written about Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) and the event of ‘Ashura. He recounts, “In the month of Muharram of every year, the Shi‘ahs procced to remind one another about the event of ‘Ashura and revive the sufferings of Imam al-Husayn, who is the symbol of courage and justice, as opposed to Yazid, the incarnation of abomination and villainy. They draw similitudes between the tyrants of their time and Yazid.”15

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was the architect of Indian independence. He was the leader of the national liberation struggle of the people of India during their quest for freedom from British colonization.

He has been quoted as saying, “I have not brought anything new for the people of India; I just brought for them the results which I obtained from my researches about the history of Karbala and that of the champions of the event of ‘Ashura. If we want to free India, it is incumbent upon us to traverse the same path which al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (عليه السلام) traversed.”16

Sawir Jiny Naid

This Indian poet believes that the mourning ceremonies of Imam al-Husayn’s (عليه السلام) followers bring about revival of the heart-rending event of Karbala. He says that the uprising of Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) strengthens the religion of Muhammad.

This poet believes that by this uprising, Imam al-Husayn (عليه السلام) proved his ultimate love and affection for Allah. He says, “During the night preceding that of al-Husayn’s martyrdom, his disciples wear black shirts, remain bare footed and congregate to remember the heart-rending event of ‘Ashura with tearful eyes.

While describing the incidents which took place that night, they all shout with one voice, ‘O al-Husayn! O al-Husayn! Why do your thousands of thousands of friends shed tears like this for you? O holy one possessing a high status! Is all this not because of your matchless sacrifices? Because you raised the banner of Muhammad’s great religion and proved to the amazed world your wonderful love for Allah’.”17

Irunick

This American historian recounts, “I do not like to make the account of al-Husayn’s martyrdom long because of the distastefulness and revulsion of the nature of that event. No incident uglier than this event came to pass in the entire history of Islam.

Even though the martyrdom of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali, is considered as a great calamity, the incident of al-Husayn consisted of atrocious killings, mutilations and taking people into captivity; acts which listening to send a shiver down a man’s spine… because it is the most outstanding account of what suffering means.”18

Al-Jamili

Even though he expresses sorrow for both sides of the confrontation on the day of ‘Ashura, he says this about Yazid’s apparent regret, “His remorse was false. Had it been real, he would have punished ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, ‘Umar ibn Sa‘d and Shimr ibn Dhi al-Jawshan.

If he showed apparent remorse, it was because he realized that he had inflamed the anger of the Muslims throughout eternity, not because of the actual crimes which he had committed.”19

The German researcher Martin

He recounts, “… al-Husayn was the only person in the last fourteen centuries to stand up against an oppressive and tyrannical government… He remains the only politician in the entire history of mankind to employ such effective politics through uprising and revolution. Al-Husayn’s unchanging motto was ‘I will die in the way of truth and virtue, but I will not pay allegiance to iniquity…’

Al-Husayn realized that Bani Umayyah, who had changed the caliphate to an absolute monarchy and authoritative sultanate, were deliberately disregarding and even purposefully trodding upon the laws of Islam. He could foresee that very soon the foundations on which Islam was founded would fall. He perceived that nothing would remain of Islam and the Muslims if he delayed any more. Therefore, he decided to stand up against oppression and tyranny.

By sacrificing his most beloved ones, proving how right he was and exposing the wrong which was committed against him by Bani Umayyah, al-Husayn taught mankind valuable lessons in self-sacrifice and risking one’s life for what is right. He recorded the name of Islam in history and made it renowned in the world. If such a heart-rending event had not taken place, Islam and the Muslims would certainly have been effaced and completely wiped out.”20

Jurji Zaydan

He narrates about Imam al-Husayn in this way, “… The sight of Imam al-Husayn’s head affected all, making everyone sorrowful… When Yazid’s eyes fell on the cut head of Imam al-Husayn, he shivered from head to foot and realized what an abominable act he had committed.”21

Nicholson

He recounts, “The event of Karbala caused regret and remorse for Bani Umayyah because it united the Shi‘ahs, who became unanimous in their agreement to avenge the blood of Imam al-Husayn.”22


Prophet Muhammad (عليه السلام) - ‘Al-Hasan and al-Husayn are my two children. Whoever loves them has in fact loved me. Whoever loves me is loved by Allah and whoever is loved by Allah will enter Paradise. Anyone who hates these two has in fact hated me. Anyone who hates me is hated by Allah, and whoever is hated by Allah will be cast into the hell fire.’’”14

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22 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

There you go. This was what I was emphasizing when I said “mainly internal strife”. This strife was then used by the Shi'i, under the pretext of equality.

Not so much by the Shi'a themselves, but by the Abbasids who used it to rally Shi'a support and later reneged on their promise, but that's another discussion. 

Also, we all know that history is more complex than monocausal determinism. Shi'i uprisings were an important factor, though not the only one, in the collapse of the Umayyads, especially over Iran and Iraq Ajam. Scholars like Hawtings and Kennedy concur with me here. 

22 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Okay, let’s roll with this here. Did the tragedy of Karbala, in light of this information, change the direction of the Muslim community? How did the shift of power from Banu Ummayah to Banu Abbas actually bring about any benefit in the long run - as you claimed it did? The only change I see, at least with regards to the Shi'a, is that the rest of the Imams, after Hussain b. Ali, became virtually apolitical, to the point that we have no information on some of them apart from how they would send agents to Shi’a communities for khums collections.

What long-term ripples did the tragedy of Karbala send down in the Ummah?

You do realize that a series of anti-Umayyad uprisings that ultimately succeeded need not necessarily translate to a pro-shia uprising right? It was none of our contention that such a change of guard necessarily benefitted the Shi'a. To claim otherwise is merely strawmanning. What was achieved was that unlike the Sufyanids or the Marwanids, the Abbasids atleast paid lip service to Islam and refrained from distorting the religion openly. Heck, let alone Shi'a sources, one would even do well to read diehard Sunnis (of the anti-Shia strain) like Mawdudi or Sayyid Qutb just to see how the Umayyads were turning the religion on its head. They were so terrible that they made even the tyrannical Abbasids look better in comparison. The discussion is not so much about what 'good' came of the uprising that was their inspiration, but the possible 'worse' it prevented. Also the fact that the Imam knew that he's igniting a spark of which neither his descendants nor his followers would be beneficiaries, but which would nonetheless succeed in atleast preserving the faith in some form, is in itself a glowing testimony to his forbearance and self denial. He wasn't out seeking self aggrandizement, nor benefits for his sons and grandsons. 

And if you think that the later Imam's were some recluses living in some self-imposed house arrest, you are patently wrong. All the Imam's after al-Sadiq died either prisoners or hostages. Some, like al-Jawad, died fairly young- he was 25 when al-Mu'tasim (la) poisoned him. They didn't have much time for politics, and spent their short and precarious lives preserving their Grandfather (sawa) 's patrimony. And if you don't know anything about them apart from their khums-collection arrangements, that's merely a gap in your knowledge. Read what even the most rabidly anti-Shi'a historians like Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (in his Sawaiq al-Muhriqa) and Ibn Kathir (who in the 11th volume of his Bidayah wal Nihayah has devoted a section to him) have said about Imam Hadi. Shaykh Tusi has listed more than 160 students of the Imam, of whom Shah Abdul Azeem al-Hassani was the best known. 

22 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

Yes, I am aware of the amount of mental gymnastics that have been carried out in trying to prove that there was a secret scheme between al-Hanafiyyah and Ali b. Hussain allegedly backing and being involved with Mukhtar, but despite that, it has not been made clear that Mukhtar had any backing from Ali b. Hussain. So I wouldn’t call this a debunk, but rather an attempt to debunk. The smiles on Ali b. Hussain and his family’s faces are not deemed as authentic pieces of information. Nor is the conversation between Hakam b. Mukhtar and Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir. Al-Khu’i’s grading is not entirely accurate, to be fair. I remember reading into this and found the hadith, “Mukhtar used to lie about Ali b. Hussain” was graded dha’eef by al-Khu’i (which itself was contradictory according to al-Khu’i’s standards), but many others have graded this hadith as hasan. You go back to someone as old as Nawbakhti or modern scholars such as Madelung or Kohlberg, and all of them have proposed that the Kaysaniyya had ties with Mukhtar and his followers.

That's plain anachronism and counter-factualism. 

And someone who thinks that ilm ud-diyarah+usul ul-hadith+ matn criticism = mental gymnastics is only deserving of being laughed at. Usually I'd laugh away such suggestions too but since this piece of yours involves some major term-dropping and misinformation, I'll clarify things for the other participants in the conversation. 

1.You do not seem to know that it is not only Sayyid al-Khu'i, but Sayyid Rohani and the majority of the modern scholars who hold this view, as do many early modern ones such as Allamah Shustari.  This was the period when a lot of fresh evidence was being discovered, mustadraks of earlier works such as Muhsin Fayd Kashani's al-Wafi as well as completely new collections like Hurr al-Amili's al-Wasa'il al-Shia, the Bihar ul-Anwar etc were being written. They had access to a lot more information which the earlier scholars were not privy too. No wonder that the views on Mukhtaar came to be substantially revised. People need to update their sources of information. Nor do I honestly care about Madelung's or Kohlberg's opinions because they have neglected to factor in a lot of evidence which flies in the face of their thesis, including the sheer anachronism and geographical mismatch. Mukhtaar died in 687 in Kufa. The first subsects of the Kaysaniyyah appeared only in 1710s, some three decades later, which is a huge gap. Also Madelung or Kohlberg don't say why the earliest of the Kaysaniyyah make no mention whatsoever of Mukhtaar pr anyone from his circle of associates as one of their akabir if he was so central to their theology. These authors simply seem to rely on purely speculative/dhanni evidence which is not very strong substantiation- Mukhtaar's followers= Early Kaysaniyyah= majority non-Arab plebians; Mukhtaar's sobriquet for Ibn Hanafiyyah = the Kaysaniyyah epithet= al-Mahdi, Persian Kaysan Abu Umrah/Kiyan Irani in Mukhtaar's army= founder of the Kaysaniyyah, therefore Tom and Richard must be inevitably followed by Harry. NO! History doesn't work that way. Kohlberg just wanted to anyhow justify his galaxybrain take on the formation of Imamate, and his misleading theory has been trashed thoroughly (again, much of this critique is Qom- based and therefore in farsi, such as Agha Rasul Jaafariyan's writings), so he had to employ these canards. Madelung's views are also equally frail, obsolete and speculative. Granted that a view may be dominant in the academic discourse, but that doesn't make it correct, and obfuscating two epistemologies doesn't make one view stronger than the other too. 

2.Nor do you seem to know how usul al-hadith works. Once a sahih and sareeh/jali qawl from the Ma'soom is discovered which is in opposition to the contrarian akhbar known hitherto, the previous riwayat are automatically set aside (the ulama take this usul from the exchanges between Ali b. Yaqtin and Imam al-Kadhim). There are other usul that are involved too, such as preferring the khabar contrary to what the ammah narrate and the prospects of doing taweel between contradicting akhbaar. What does 'Khu'i's standards' mean here anyway? His tawtheeq of the concerned narrators? It is perfectly usual for a riwayah to have an impeccable sanad, a coherent matn and yet be completely rejected diyaratan because it fails the test of other usul. This is the way of our Salaf, this is the way of our qudama like al-Mufeed and al-Murtada, and this is the way of our modern scholars like al-Khu'i, al-Muhsini and al-Sanad too. We are not the Hashawiyyah/Ahlul Hadith. Appealing to Nawbakhti's authority is superfluous because neither him nor his generation were privy to much of the evidence concerning Mukhtaar which the scholars from Shaheed al-Thalith's generation and onwards were. It's not like there was a binary  classification of ahadith regarding Mukhtaar, some were in condemnation, the others in endorsement, some of a curious variety which announced the Imams' dissociation from him WHILE promising him paradise at once. It was this curious admixture which led the scholars to consider the possibility of a revision and reinvestigation. 

3. You're making  claims without substantiating them- "the conversation b/w Hakam b. Mukhtaar and al-Baqir is not authentic". Which scholar ever considered it inauthentic? Even those who have relied on the anti-Mukhtaar reports, like al-Majlisi, haven't weakened this Hadith; their stance is that since there are conflicting reports about mukhtaar we'll be silent about him. 

You are betraying a lack of understanding regarding how Shi'i hermeneutics and heuristics work. 

22 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

This is just tarikh 101 here. The Kaysaniyya did not take up after Mukhtar’s death and declare al-Hanafiyyah as the Imam and Mahdi. They took up after Mukhtar during the latter’s life, who himself was the militant organizer of the infant Kaysanite doctrine. What did occur after Mukhtar’s death were the divisions and dissolutions within the Kaysaniyya. Maybe that’s where the confusion is at.

Plain anachronism right there. There's a gap of three decades between Mukhtaar's martyrdom and the emergence of the Kaysaniyyah. The Kaysaniyyah subsects - the Hashimiyyah, the Kurrabiyyah, the Sarrajiyyah, the Barbariyyah and others emerged even later than the death of Abu Hashim, ibn Hanafiyyah's son, which widens the time gap by a decade more. 

22 hours ago, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

What do you mean by political non-entities? Obviously, the Abbasids knew that the Imams had some support from their followers, hence they were a living threat to them - because of the mere fact that they could challenge the legitimacy of the khilaafat. But other than that, history shows that the Imams simply stayed out of this business.

Killing the Imams was no special investment or feat for the Abbasids. We do make it sound like this was a holy one on one battle between the Imams and the Caliphs, and that the Caliphs were especially passionate about getting rid of the Shi’i Imams, but this is simply not true. The Imams, for them, were just little specks in their grand kingdom who they felt could amass a steady following. So they simply got rid of them before an Imam even considered it.

You are again betraying your lack of knowledge about the Imams' life-circumstances. You don't know the sheer degree of espionage they lived under, to the point that they had to do taqiyyah even in their own house, among their family. Employing skilled spies was not cheap, and multiple such spies had to be hired to put not just the imams, but even their sons, wives and female slaves under radar perennially (to figure out who the next imam was). Nor did the blood of the Ahlul Bayt (عليه السلام) sell that cheap; assassins had to be paid what is beyond our imagination to do their job. Gauge this from this fact alone- despite repeatedly being promised unthinkable material rewards and bribes, even Abbasid yes-men like Fadl ibn Yahya al-Barmaki refused to poison Imam al-Kadhim, so the job had to be entrusted to Sandi b. Sihak (la),naturally at a much bigger commission. Imam Askari's estate at Samarra was literally turned into a military encampment, so numerous was the army appointed to watch over him. When al-Rida reached Khurasaan, over a thousand Sunni ulama came to meet him with their disciples (which might easily have made the crowd 10,000 strong, a deluge of a gathering in those times when the population was far lesser) so the popularity of the Imams was not limited to just their Shi'a. Since you don't know these details, you are making those erroneous and counterfactual speculations. The Imams were not reclusive non-entities and it took the Abbasids a lot of mental exertion and material expenses to assassinate them. 

But none of these things is directly related to our topic so we are digressing a lot. 

Edited by AbdusSibtayn
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On 8/10/2022 at 12:17 AM, Ibn-e-Muhammad said:

 

Is there some greater reality here that we have not been made aware of?

Your premise is based on , what we call on ground realities. 

We should be talking about an epic battle for the fate of humanity,  the soul of Islam and the constant struggle of Shaitan with the forces of Good.

This battle was not just on the ground   this was a spiritual battle of good vs evil.

This is why some sufi and other sects celebrate Ashura, and don't mourn,  since at the deepest core,  Imam Hussain won. However   this fails to take in consideration the cost of this battle and the Victory defiantly proven by Bibi Zainab and Syeda Sajjad in the Darbaar of Yazeed.

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34 minutes ago, Hasani Samnani said:

Your premise is based on , what we call on ground realities. 

We should be talking about an epic battle for the fate of humanity,  the soul of Islam and the constant struggle of Shaitan with the forces of Good.

This battle was not just on the ground   this was a spiritual battle of good vs evil.

This is why some sufi and other sects celebrate Ashura, and don't mourn,  since at the deepest core,  Imam Hussain won. However   this fails to take in consideration the cost of this battle and the Victory defiantly proven by Bibi Zainab and Syeda Sajjad in the Darbaar of Yazeed.

Ashura is a celebration of life over death, it is a battle between the forces of evil and righteousness, its about the bond between fathers long gone and generations to come - it is the value of women and the role they play in Islam. It is about family, brothers, half brother, step mothers ... it is about a sacrifice given freely, in time of ignorance with nothing but a handful of survivors that has turned into the most epic drama of our times, calling to in tens of millions to remember the quiet sacrifice.

Its a lesson about life and how beautiful it is when you see it in the light of day. Ashura is a celebration - it is the spring waters that flow from our eyes feed our hearts and replenish our souls. It is the knowledge that "... Allah set forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree (the noble family), whose root is firm and who branches are in heaven, yielding its fruits in every season by the permission of its Lord? ... And the parable of an evil word is an evil tree (Bani Umayyah) pulled up from the earth’s surface, it has no stability. (Surah Ibrahim 14:24-26). Allah fulfilled this promise, the bloodline of Mohamed ﷺ has spread to every point on this earth and the Umayyads have been uprooted their seed barren never to walk this earth again.

The mystery is that this love of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) in a remote place with few witnesses in a time of complete oppression has survived to tell the beautiful story of Islam. 

Salam Alayka Ya-abba Abdillah - Ya Imami, Ya ibn Rassoulallah ﷺ 

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